Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wesley Clark and his comments on John McCain

This previous weekend, Gen. Wesley Clark appeared on "Face the Nation" in support of Barack Obama's candidacy for the White House.

Following this appearance, Clark has been attacked in the corporate media mainly for the comment(s) below:

...I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war. He was a hero to me and to hundreds of thousands and millions of others in Armed Forces as a prisoner of war. He has been a voice on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and he has traveled all over the world. But he hasn't held executive responsibility. That large squadron in Air- in the Navy that he commanded, it wasn't a wartime squadron. He hasn't been there and ordered the bombs to fall. He hasn't seen what it's like when diplomats come in and say, 'I don't know whether we're going to be able to get this point through or not...I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be President.

This statement was immediately jumped upon by members of the corporate media as well as in the conservative circles as an attack on John McCain's military service. Some have even gone so far as to say that this is proof that the Obama campaign is demeaning not only McCain's military service, but military service in general.

Regardless of what you think of Wesley Clark it is important to take a look at what was actually said. Clark stated that McCain hasn't held executive responsibility and that he doesn't believe that his time spent in the military (which includes being shot down) qualifies him to be President. Certainly these points can be refuted, discussed, and debated, but is it an "attack" on John McCain's service to question if said service is really a qualification for President? One can even argue that McCain's service was brave, honorable and for love of his country, but that is not what was being disputed. What was in dispute was if the skill set that John McCain received through his military service has prepared him to be President. Clark did not argue that McCain does not have the ability to be President, just that his military service does not inherently qualify him. We can box ourselves into a corner by arguing that any mention of McCain's service as a Presidential qualification is an attack on McCain simply because he has served.

The point I make is a focused one and one can make various arguments about Obama and McCain in regard to experience, executive responsibility, and Clark's own authority. All of this falls outside of the issue of whether this comment attacked McCain's service. In fact, Clark could be completely wrong in his assertion and it would still not "dishonor" the service of McCain. I only bring up these distinctions to attempt and counter the misrepresentation of what was said in this instance. I have no desire to defend Clark or McCain in this instance, only to point out what I feel, was a misrepresentation of Clark's comment.

1 comment:

Danny Vice said...

Wesley Clark trips all over himself every time he says anything, and does nothing more than make his liberal cohorts look like the power lusting, lying, manipulative flip floppers that they are.

Last go around, Clark crowed endlessly about Kerry’s service, and how horrible it was that anyone would doubt Kerry’s integrity. He held Kerry up as a hero and ABSOLUTELY advertised his service as a reason why Kerry was fit to be commander in chief.

Now he flip flops right on his face - as he usually does.

Conservatives flip flop from time to time, but they don’t throw any vet under the bus unless that vet is out there denigrating our troops - like Kerry did.

They are two peas in a pod.

Clark is a disgrace to the uniform and it’s a tragedy our soldiers and vets had to listen to him denigrate their service in such a way.

He had NO reason to even bring the issue up other than to attack someone for his own selfish purposes.

Danny Vice